Pretty things! But, don't let the shiny tchotchkes fool you; this place is about the drugs.
Let me be clear. We were there for the drugs, too. Not the Cialis that the man next to me was trying to purchase discreetly, but we all have our own back-monkeys.
A merchant's employee has the task of carrying a ceramic monkey the size of a toddler up and down the line for departure. The monkey is smoking a cigarette and drinking a Coca Cola. The monkey is anatomically correct. I know because I asked before I bought it. I'm not having some inaccurate monkey rendition strapped to the ladder while we're blowing down the road; we'd be a laughingstock. They bought that monkey and that's not even what a monkey looks like under his pants!
The thing is, YOU KNOW THAT MONKEY SELLS. There are snowbirds out there (don't even look around like it's someone else) who OWN THAT MONKEY.
A little woman laden with sparkly jewelry bits said things to us in Spanish for so long that I considered eating my lunch there. The small lady is very persistent, and you will be tempted to buy something for one dollar to release her from her obligation to solicit you, but this is a tactical error. She has colleagues.
There are many, many farmacías for you to choose from, and men on the street will tell you about them. We hit three of them for prices before we found one that had everything we wanted, so we dropped our drug money there.
People who wanted our money:
- little ladies with sparkles
- men with produce
- every drug store
- every dentist
- every optician
- young woman with rock chickens
- young woman with ceramic tortoises
- young man with monkey
- everyone with a shop
- man in white uniform
- woman selling Chiclets
People who got our money:
- Purple pharmacy (not the first one, the second one)
- guy with strawberries
- guy with asparagus
People who almost got our money:
- girl with cute chickens - she called us "beautiful movie stars"
We were going to buy some emergency Cipro, but didn't. The woman who helped us told us that she could sell it to us, but we would have to hide it. We laughed, and she explained that it's not an imprisonable offense, they would just send us back to get a refund. But she couldn't refund money on Cipro. Worse, we would have to stand in line all over again.
It was all pretty exciting. We got to use our crispy new passports. We got to purchase medication that we hope to never use. It's not the hassle we thought it would be; the worst of it is the line back to the States.
Park your car for $5 at the Quechan parking lot and walk across. We decided that bicycles would be more trouble than they're worth, even if you can ride to the front of the line. We crossed twice, and our wait-time was about 1/2 hour each (there is no wait to cross into Mexico, only to leave). Don't worry about your Spanish; almost everyone speaks English. Even if you're an Ugly American, you and your money are welcome here. Don't come with a lot of stuff, because you're taking a monkey home.